Randy Mayor; Jan Gautro
8 servings

Raw ingredients, such as cucumber, carrots, lettuce, mung bean sprouts, and fresh mint leaves, make this refreshing dish ideal for summer. You can substitute pork tenderloin, beef sirloin, or chicken for the shrimp. Simply cut the meat into cubes, marinate for 2 hours, then skewer and grill until done. The sauce, called nuoc cham, is present at every meal in Vietnam and drizzled over grilled meats, plain rice, or noodles. Homemade herbal oil and fried herbs are widely used in Asia. In Vietnam, shallot oil and fried shallots are the most popular and are used to garnish meat, seafood, rice, and noodle dishes.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare shrimp, combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove shrimp from bag; discard marinade.

Step 2

To prepare sauce, combine the lime juice and next 5 ingredients (through chiles), stirring with a whisk until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Step 3

To prepare shallot oil, heat 1/4 cup oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Strain the shallot mixture through a sieve over a bowl. Reserve oil. Set fried shallots aside.

Step 4

To prepare remaining ingredients, place rice vermicelli in a large bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes. Drain. Combine the noodles, shallot oil, 1 3/4 cups lettuce, 1 cup sprouts, 1 cup carrot, and 3/4 cup cucumber, tossing well.

Step 5

To cook shrimp, prepare the grill to medium-high heat.

Step 6

Place shrimp on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Place 3/4 cup noodle mixture in each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 4 shrimp, about 3 tablespoons of sauce, and about 1 tablespoon fried shallots. Serve with remaining lettuce, bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber, mint, and peanuts.

Ratings & Reviews

Good but lots of prep

July 26, 2018
Between prepping the lemon grass and all the shallots, this was quite time consuming. However, if you feel like puttering in the kitchen or can do some of it the night before, it's fine. The dish is delicious, so fresh tasting and with such a range of textures.  A quick trip to our local Asian grocery store brought the needed ingredients at a low price, and I used big meaty shrimp. I followed the recipe exactly except for using baby spinach instead of lettuce. One thing though--this does not feed eight people unless they're really light eaters or you have lots of other dishes too.  I made half the recipe and my husband and I ate the whole thing. Since you drain the marinade from the shrimp, it may come to fewer calories than it seems. It's a good meal for a hot summer day. 

Brie30's Review

June 02, 2012
This was excellent! My husband & I had been craving thai food and this was superb. It was a bit of work but well worth the effort. Have never found thai bird chiles so I substitute serrano w/ good results. I also had no mint so i didn't use. Loved this recipe. A definite keeper!

amybroun's Review

October 16, 2009
From what I've been told. Rice Vermicelli doesn't need to be boiled. Simply soak in warm water for 2-3 min. This should soften but prevent from the clumping that other people spoke of! :)

Hillary1980's Review

March 03, 2009
I often eat this dish at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, therefore I had high hope for this one. The flavors in this recipe are delicious. My problem was the noodles....what a disaster! They turned into a big glob of noodles that I could not separate. I ended up throwing them out and using lo mein noodles bought from the store. The next time I dine out I will be sure to ask them how they cook the rice noodles. I think they might steam them. I will make this recipe again when I learn to cook the noodles properly!

alexanderka's Review

July 24, 2013

SDMomChef's Review

March 31, 2013
This is one of my husbands favorite recipes. I have also had trouble with the noodles sticking, but I fave found that giving them a quick rinse helps. It also helps to use my kitchen shears and chop the noodles into pieces.

saracat's Review

March 13, 2013
This was as good as, if not better, than my local Vietnamese restaurant's dish. The shrimp were so flavorful! I did not make the shallot oil in the interest of saving calories because this recipe doesn't make a filling main course for eight people. Will certainly make again!

mjmayinsf's Review

June 03, 2010
Absolutely delicious. Cooked the noodles as indicated in the recipe (cover in boiling water and let steam for 20 min) and they came out perfectly. The shrimp are truly outstanding, as are the shallots. I'll definitely be making this again!

So delicious!!

September 18, 2015
I loved this recipe! Me and my husband are huge Vietnamese food fans so my expectations were high. Boy were we impressed! I substituted mung beans noodles, I find in doing so, the noodles don't stick and are less carbs! Also I like the taste and consistency. I also liked the recipe forma, it was easy to follow. :) we will make this again and again! Next time I'm trying it with pork and shrimp.